I like to believe, somewhat naively, my innovation case studies and talks inspire everyone. Reading this GE Innovation Barometer report, it becomes clear that innovation stories also cause anxiety and stress.
I guess I have had several clues myself. Brian Sommer reviewing The New Polymath said: “When you read his book, you should feel humbled as you read of so many great things, great ideas, etc. so many others are discovering, learning and creating.”
Dennis Howlett periodically laments my innovation tales “exhaust peeps like me who are trying our best to get peeps to go from point A to point B as a stepping stone to your point C/D.”
I get howls when I benchmark our telcos against those in Korea or Japan. They are much smaller countries, is the repartee. But their cities are not and that is where most bandwidth is needed/consumed worldwide.
When I compare IBM or HP’s data centers against the much more efficient ones that Amazon and Google run, or when I compare SAP’s revenues from new products to Apple’s the protests are you cannot compare enterprise tech to consumer tech.
When I compare enterprise tech to each other – like Salesforce’s internal application management staffing to that of Infosys or Wipro’s as they support enterprise apps or when I compare Workday’s in background upgrades to the months in-premise apps take, I get other protests.
Yes, innovation does cause stress and anxiety in the laggards.
So, what is GE supposed to do? Not sell innovative new products in countries like India, Malaysia, Mexico, Turkey and UAE where its Barometer finds executives believe “increased competition and accelerated pace of technological advancement has a negative impact” on local economies?
Should I not profile the hundreds of innovators each year on New Florence and in my books and talks?
Of course not.
I long ago bought into the expression “A players hire A players and B players hire C players”.
I will continue to profile A players, and hope the Bs and Cs are inspired, not terrified, by them.